I have three kids and I have something to say to people who nag parents of one child to procreate again: not only is it none of your dang business how many kids other people have, but there are many good reasons to stick to one child. Are you ready? Here we go…
1. Having more than one kid is NOT for everyone
I thought I was a strong person before I had kids. I was fit, confident, successful in my career and I generally kicked ass at life. Fast-forward five years and I’m a barely contained ball of lip-glossed anxiety. I’ve lost so much sleep over the years that I live in a permanent brain fog and I sometimes forget where I’m going when I’m driving. I’m constantly worrying about someone’s gut health, forgotten jumper or social skills. I’ve had to do therapy, life coaching and meditation to tame the constant feeling of impending doom.
Let’s get one thing straight: having three kids under three is not for everyone. I’ve barely survived it. By that same token, having two kids is not for everyone. We all know our personal limitations and it’s our duty to ourselves and our families to respect them. If you’ve struggled with one and you feel like a second would tip you over the edge, DON’T DO IT. Your Auntie Ethel and your friend who has three and swears it’s #thebest can suck it.
2. Only children rock
Don’t get me started on people who say that having only one child is tantamount to child abuse or that only children are selfish and bossy. I’m an only child and I don’t feel like I missed out at all. I never envied my friends for having stinky brothers who farted in their faces or bitchy sisters who told them they were fat.
As for all those accusations levelled at my personality just because I didn’t have siblings, they’re dead wrong. My parents didn’t spoil me or raise me to be an entitled little queen. They instilled strong values in me and I’m pretty sure most of my friends would describe me as generous, kind and empathetic.
3. There are no trophies for having more kids
They don’t give you a spa voucher in the delivery room. You don’t reach enlightened nirvana. No one will even check up on you to see how you’re handling “the juggle” after the first few weeks. You’ll just be exhausted and alone, contemplating your newly sprouted grey hairs and failed dreams.
But your heart will be full. Truly. I love being a mum of three and I’d never change a thing. Just don’t go into baby number two expecting instant gratification or that #blessedlife your friend with two kids seems to have.
4. You’ll forever be consumed by mum guilt
As if the first child wasn’t guilt-inducing enough, the second will be next-lev. You’ll have a constant ball of burning shame in your stomach for missing your daughter’s dance recital because the baby spewed in your hair or for packing instant noodles for daycare yet again.
I often find myself staring longingly at meaningful interactions between mums and their only children. All those beautiful, caring, intense moments will never be available to you again. Well, maybe once a year per child.
And you’ll constantly feel torn between your children … not enough, never enough, always wishing you could give more *crying rivers emoji*
5. You can kiss your peaceful household goodbye
I know only children can have their share of loud tantrums and meltdowns, but it’s nothing compared to the levels of noise generated by the competition and fighting in my three-girl household. I swear my childhood was infinitely more peaceful and calmer because I didn’t have anyone to battle with. It was just me and my dad kicking around the backyard, or me and my mum hanging out at the local pool. Easy peasy.
I often wonder how all that competition and the associated stress it creates will affect my daughters’ development and wellbeing. Oh, goody! Something else to worry about.
6. You’ll be helping humanity
The Earth is overpopulated and we’re all competing for resources. At this stage, having big families is kinda dumb. It means more mouths to feed, bigger cars to drive, more broken plastic toys to shove into the Earth’s core. Let’s be honest – we have to stop making more babies if we want this big beautiful ball to be around for future generations.
Only children FTW!